2002 JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Eiswein 7.5%

Weingut Joh Jos Prum is one of the most renowned Mosel estates. Stephan Reinhardt’s comments about drinking JJ Prum “ is to enjoy a springtime of the heart and mind…a combination of lightness, finesse, elegance and (most of all) energy…these are gracious, charming wines”. JJ Prum wines can be a bit sulky at initially; sometimes a bit reductive.  Time, and a decant work wonders. Their longevity is extraordinary.

Eiswein is the legally-defined term that refers to a non-chaptalized wine made from grapes picked with at least 110-128° Oechsle (the minimum level depends on the region and the grape variety) at a temperature below -7°C and which has also passed a sensorial test by the authorities. Eiswein is a sweet to noble-sweet wine, with >130 g/l of residual sugar. Botrytis plays no part in the style – it is just essence of Riesling. Occasionally the harvest can extend into the “next” calendar year, but the wine is labelled as the previous year. Eiswein is uncommon, tantalising and expensive.

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This wine is still a pale lemon colour; the enduring mystery is how such a myriad of flavours is contained in a low-alcohol wine. There are “spinal-tap-esque” exaggerated florals; mixed tropical fruits and candle-wax, lemon essence and lime “run-off”. Then a rush of ripe red apple, and nutmeg spices. So dense, and the pure stony flavours persist for minutes, dwindling to some stonefruits and perhaps light apricot.  Eiswein is indeed rare, and the residual sugar in this wine is not known – 200 g/l? but the acidity carries this with aplomb. Fabulous.

Drink to 2040, and 98 points

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